Annual disrespect of Chargers' Justin Herbert begins with bogus QB rankings

Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots
Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages

It was never in the realm of possibility that the LA Chargers were trading Justin Herbert this offseason. While Jim Harbaugh hyped up J.J. McCarthy at every turn leading up to the NFL Draft, he was doing his former quarterback a solid more than phasing Herbert out of the picture.

While the Chargers failed to capitalize on Herbert's rookie contract before giving him a five-year, $262 million extension last year, he's the best thing the franchise has going for it. With the proper infrastructure, it stands to reason that Herbert can lead LA to the promised land.

That only opens more questions as to why the Chargers traded away Herbert's go-to target Keenan Allen. No matter how uninspiring the WR room is, though, the Bolts will be competitive as long as Herbert is under center.

That begs the question of why Herbert is continually disrespected in QB rankings. Every year multiple outlets throw shade at the former No. 6 overall pick and CBS' Cody Benjamin did the honors of starting the annual trend.

Chargers' Justin Herbert disrespected yet again in QB rankings

Here's what Benjamin's rankings look like:

  1. Patrick Mahomes 
  2. Brock Purdy (!) 
  3. Josh Allen 
  4. Joe Burrow
  5. C.J. Stroud
  6. Lamar Jackson 
  7. Jalen Hurts 
  8. Dak Prescott 
  9. Justin Herbert (!!)
  10. Jordan Love

Benjamin's analysis of Herbert is spot on. The only problem is that Herbert is arguably four or five slots from where he should be. It's admittedly difficult to argue against Mahomes, Allen, Burrow and Jackson ranking ahead of Herbert.

Purdy belongs somewhere in the top 10, but the notion that he's a better QB than Herbert because he's taken a loaded roster (on both sides of the ball) to back-to-back NFC title games is totally off-base. By no means are we anti-Purdy, but the second-best QB in the world? It's not an arm talent award, but the former Mr. Irrelevant can't make half the throws that Herbert does.

It's no surprise that Benjamin has Stroud ahead of Herbert. There are a ton of similarities between Herbert and the Texans phenom. But is Stroud really better than Herbert after one season? Benjamin is essentially saying that 14 games worth of Stroud is already better than Herbert, who's played 62 games and is seventh all-time in touchdown to interception ratio.

Nobody's saying that Herbert should catapult into the top-five, but one could easily make the argument that he should be higher than Purdy, Stroud, Prescott and even Hurts, whose banner 2022 season looks like an outlier after he led the league in turnovers last year.

Herbert has to start building a playoff resume at some point, but he's been subjected to terrible head coaching and offensive line play. Pushing the narrative that he's clinging on to a top-10 spot is completely bogus.